Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Writing & Illustration Contest FAQ’s





Q:  What are the contest categories?

A:  The three fiction categories are: Picture Book, Middle Grade Novel, and Young Adult Novel. Fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, etc. are all permitted within those categories.

Q:  How many manuscripts can I enter in the contest?

A:  One. Choose the one category you will enter and send your very best writing. (NOTE: If you are an unpublished illustrator, you may also enter the Rising Kite Illustration Contest.)

Q:  Is the contest just for unpublished writers?

A:  No. Unpublished and published writers may enter. All submitted manuscripts, however, must be unpublished and not under contract. Published authors (including those who are self-published) cannot enter in a category in which they have been published).

Q:  How do I know how to prepare my manuscript?

A:  Complete guidelines are available at

Q:  What program should I use for my submission?

A:  Only Word documents will be accepted. No PDFs

Q: Do I make separate attachments for the cover page, the manuscript, and the synopsis (if I have one)?

A: No. Make one file. Begin with your title page, followed by your ten page submission (with or without a synopsis for novels). Follow the guidelines provided.

Q: What name should I give to my attachment?

A: Use the title of your manuscript as the name of your attachment.

Q: What happens if my manuscript is not formatted correctly?

A: You will receive an email from the contest coordinate telling you what you need to do to make your submission comply with the contest guidelines. After making changes, you may resubmit.

Q:  Can I make corrections in my manuscript after I have submitted and send the corrections?

A:  No. Just like when you submit to an agent or editor, send the perfected manuscript the first time.

Q:  I know that only unpublished manuscripts may be entered in the contest, but what if the book was self-published or is out of print? Can I enter it anyway?

A:  No. Published is published. No exceptions.

Q:  When can I submit my manuscript?

A:  Submissions will be accepted from September 1, 2014 until 11:59 p.m. on October 15, 2014.

Q: Where do I submit my entry?

A: All manuscripts must be emailed as an attachment by 11:59 p.m. on September 30 to contest coordinator, Rob Sanders, at Use the title of your manuscript as the name of your attachment. You will receive email confirmation that your manuscript has been received. NOTE: Please allow up to 48 hours for confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation email, your manuscript has not been entered in the contest.

Q:  How will I know that my entry has been received?

A:  You will receive an email confirmation. Please allow 48 hours for the confirmation. If you do not receive an email confirmation your manuscript has not been entered in the contest.

Q:  What can I win?

A:  The top five manuscripts in each category will be reviewed by an editor or agent, and that could be invaluable. The top three winners in each category will be awarded certificates at our regional conference in Miami, and will be listed on our SCBWI FL web page. The top winner in each category will win a scholarship to an SCBWI FL intensive of his/her choosing.

Q:  When and how will winners be announced?

A:  Winners will be announced at the SCBWI Florida Regional Conference in Miami, January 2015. After the conference, the slate of winners will also be posted on the SCBWI Florida web site.